'Dark Girls' Documentary Sheds Light on Skin-Color Bias

Is it me or does it seem like Beyonce is actually looking lighter and lighter these days?

Well, this is the perfect time to release a documentary geared toward darker skinned African Americans. "Dark Girls" is a new documentary by Bill Duke explores the deep-seated biases and
attitudes about skin color that are experienced particularly by
dark-skinned women. A 9-minute teaser for this new documentary "Dark Girls"  (below) takes a look at
how colorism both within and without the African American community
affects dark skinned black women.

While this conversation certainly isn't brand new, this approach appears to be. But Dark Girls seems to take a different angle. Rather than vilifying the perpetrators of bias, the preview shows women being allowed to tell their own stories in a manner that sends an undeniable message about how nonsensical, painful and historically fraught our stubborn views of skin color and beauty can be.

The womens' stories in this release
are, seriously, quite painful to watch. The rejection they felt or still feel from
people, even loved ones, due to their skin color. As a dark-skinned African American male, I can't say I've really experienced or felt the way they have but, I imagine it is harder for darker-skinned African American women given the fact society places a huge bias against them because of their dark toned skin color.

Here are some of the chilling quotes from this documentary:

"I can remember being in the bathtub asking my mom to put bleach in the water so that my skin would be lighter and so that I could escape the feelings I had about not being as beautiful, as acceptable, as lovable."

"She's pretty for a dark-skinned girl ... What is that supposed to mean?"

"They used to say, 'You stayed in the oven too long.' "

"It was so damaging ... it made it seem like we weren't wanted; that we were less than."

"The racism that we have a people amongst ourselves is a direct backlash of slavery."

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I really excited about this documentary! But, particularly, because I think it'll bring back an old conversation that's never doesn't seem to get discussed anymore.

Dark Girls: Preview from Bradinn French on Vimeo.

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    This moved me to tears, as it flooded me with memories from my own childhood.

    Lisa x

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